They weren't running "from" anything. They were moving TO something. The Barnhills have never been the type of people who get into trouble. Its just not their style.
About 1830, or shortly thereafter, my ancestors on all sides were moving from KY, TN, AL, GA, NC, SC, and VA - and they were all headed for Texas. At the time, there was that pesky little problem of Texas being in Mexico. Some got to Texas, only to discover that Mexico made it illegal for them to get a big enough tract of land to do anything with - so they came back and tried again later. Jim Bowie was getting around Mexico by Mexicans to apply for land grants and then buying the grants from them. He then resold the grants to land speculators - so our folks move back across the line into Texas. Then there was war between the U.S. and Mexico - back our folks came again. One of my g-g-granddaddys actually stuck out the bad times in Texas and, when they were over, washed his hands of Texas and came back saying he was tired of moving back and forth across that line.
For those who stayed in Natchitoches Parish - it was because of their marriages into the Crump, Dykes, Winn and allied families. Robeline is their home - was then and is now. Almost all of them are buried there...and certainly no farther away than Provincal, Marthaville and Pleasant Hill.
My line is: William Barnhill & Cynthia Hodge Charles Crump & Cynthia Barnhill Samuel D. Crump & Elizabeth Emeline Varnon Levi Thomas Dykes & Alice Struther Crump Thomas Levi/Lee Dykes & Nina Estelle Hardee Thomas Lee Dykes, Jr. & Gladys Lorette Laborde Carol Ann Dykes Scott